Cholera outbreak: APC chieftain, Oyintiloye applauds Tinubu’s N260bn PHC intervention

By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has commended President Bola Tinubu’s recent decision to allocate N260 billion to revamp Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) across Nigeria, noting that the timing of the funding is particularly crucial as the country grapples with cholera outbreak.

Oyintiloye, who said this while speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Osogbo, said that with the recent outbreak of cholera an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium”Vibrio cholerae” in Lagos and other parts of the country,  primary health care centers have been recieving and providing care for most of those affected.

According to him, the first level of contact of individuals, families and communities is PHCs, lamenting however that many of it in the country lack capacity to provide  essential health care services due to challenges such as inadequate equipment, poor condition of service and infrastructure, lack of staffing and essential drugs, among others

The APC chieftain, however, appealed to state governors not to divert the money, but they should rather use it wisely to equip the PHCs in their states in the interest of the masses that would use the facility.

He said with the recent report that the death toll from cholera outbreak has risen to 40, PHCs which is always the first port of call for people, especially the rural dwellers, seeking medicare, such an important care provider should be strengthened.

Oyintiloye, former lawmaker, recalled that the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate, had on May 24 said N260 billion had been earmarked for the revitalisation of PHCs across the country.

The APC chieftain, who said Pate disclosed this Abuja at the sectoral ministerial press briefing to mark the first anniversary of the President in office, noted that the minister also said the N260 billion is “sitting right now at the states’ level”.

He said the disclosure by the minister at the briefing that plans were underway to expand the PHCs from 8,300 to 17,000 through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and make them functional to deliver essential services was also commendable.

Oyintiloye, however, expressed worry that, if the fund, which is already at the state level, according the minister, is not monitored, it could be diverted and the PHCs might not have the needed capacity to tackle the cholera outbreak and other diseases in the country.

He, however, urged the president to ensure that a strict measure is put in place for the effective utilisation of the money.

“I commend the president for prioritising the health of Nigerians with the release of N260 billion to revitalise the dilapidated PHCs in the country.

“The only fear I have now is how this fund will not be diverted by the governors at this critical period of cholera outbreak.

“The PHCs in the country is currently at its worst level and that is why the fund released for its revitalisation must not be allowed to be mismanaged.

“Since all the states of the federation have been mobilised for the revitalisation of the PHCs, governors should not allow greed to prevent them from doing the right thing.

Oyintiloye, a member of the defunct APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) said that for Nigeria to improve its poor health indices, there is need to prioritise and improve the PHC facilities in the country to be able to withstand sudden outbreak of diseases such as cholera and others.

He also urged Nigerians to cultivate habits of cleanliness and in the same vein, government must start creating awareness, educating people on hand washing with soap and water, desist from open defecation, among others.

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